• birdsview of a stadium

      A YouTube screen grab of a Drone over the Rose Bowl stadium (Photo – YouTube).

      On Tuesday, March 2, 2021, attorneys for the City of Pasadena filed motions in United States District Court to dismiss all claims against the City as alleged in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses’ lawsuit.

      By News Desk

      In a press release received by our newsroom, the City of Pasadena stated the following:

      The City’s motions clearly demonstrate why the Tournament of Roses should have never taken this matter to Court.

      The motions make clear that this case is not—and has never been—about trademark rights. The City and Tournament have a long-standing Master License Agreement wherein each party recognizes the trademark rights of the other. The Tournament’s lawsuit is about money and the desire of the Tournament to have flexibility to move the Rose Bowl Game out of its long-time home in Pasadena. The Agreement between the City and the Tournament prohibits the Tournament from selling its rights to the Rose Bowl Game to the highest bidder, and then moving the Rose Bowl Game out of Pasadena. The facts of this year’s Rose Bowl Game lay bare the Tournament’s sole pursuit of dollars and nothing more.

      The Tournament insists that this litigation “is not about moving the Rose Bowl Game out of Pasadena” in the future yet the legal complaint demonstrates just the opposite. The Tournament wants a court of law to assure it that it can move the Rose Bowl Game. It is an attempt by the Tournament to ask the Court to allow it to redraft the Master License Agreement for future, hypothetical events that might never happen. The fact is, the current agreement between the parties does not allow the Rose Bowl Game to be played anywhere but in Pasadena for any reason, unless the City consents, like it did this year as a good-faith partner during extraordinary times.

      The Tournament’s lawsuit attempts to deny the Mayor’s and the City’s First Amendment rights to speak to the press and to the Mayor’s constituents on a matter of fundamental public interest when it claims that the Mayor’s comment that, “The football game belongs to the City of Pasadena and the people of Pasadena” is somehow an infringement of a trademark. It is a baseless and reckless claim to make, seeking to chill the City’s speech on a matter of public interest.

      It is our continued hope that the parties can resolve this dispute amicably, outside of the judicial system, as should have happened in the first place. The City will aggressively defend its rights in this litigation and expects that the Tournament will honor its contractual promise to the City, its residents, and the hundreds of volunteers that make New Year’s Day special in Pasadena that the Rose Bowl Game will be played in the Rose Bowl Stadium where it belongs. The City and Tournament have a parade and a game to host on New Year’s Day 2022, which will hopefully symbolize a return to normal. This lawsuit is a needless, meritless and destructive distraction from that work.


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